Magnolia Social, a new restaurant and beer garden, opened in downtown Starkville recently, aiming to bring some good food into Hotel Chester. According to their Facebook, Magnolia Social advertises themselves as "elevated southern food + craft cocktails in a laid back environment."
Normally, I am a little hesitant of new Southern restaurants or restaurants that have a Southern twist. I have often found that in trying to emulate Southern food, many restaurants neglect rich Southern flavors and opt for heavy, greasy fried foods.
With that in mind, I was pretty excited about what I saw as I looked at Magnolia Social's menu. The menu offers some pretty traditional staples, but also some adventurous foods that are not as common in a Starkville restaurant. Another notable aspect of the menu was how many vegan and vegetarian options were available.
Vegan and vegetarian options are not as common in Starkville, so it is encouraging to see the different food representations on the menu. Kung Pao Cauliflower is one of the menu options, with a description of "crispy fried cauliflower, crushed peanuts, roasted peppers, and scallions." They have two salads that are also vegan, and if you get the Poke nachos, you can get beets instead of salmon to make it vegetarian. Another vegan option is the vegan chorizo tacos.
MSU educational psychology graduate student Mallie Donald went to the opening week of Magnolia Social.
"The bar area was really nice and we got the fried green tomatoes; they were really good. Also the poke nachos with the beets. For the entree I got the salmon that was over some butternut squash," Donald said.
She also noted that the environment of the restaurant, especially the bar, was great.
"It was a 10/10 honestly … I am definitely wanting to try the fried oysters and get some tuna," Donald said.
When I ventured over to the new restaurant, I tried the Magnolia Social BLT. I am always a fan of fried green tomatoes and adding them into a BLT is just about the perfect Southern meal to me.
The sandwich was savory, flavorful and delicious. One thing I noted was that the sandwich had the perfect amount and size of tomatoes. Oftentimes, when sandwiches have tomatoes on them they can be way too thick and soggy to enjoy the full meal. However, these thin, crispy slices added to the other flavors rather than taking away from the sandwich.
Though I had wished the sandwich would automatically include a side, it was still a very satisfactory meal. I would highly recommend Magnolia Social to anyone. It has enough options to please every crowd and has a high range of diversity in food. The prices on the menu are also highly diverse since customers can spend less by getting one of the handhelds, or go for more by getting a full entree.
No matter your price point or cravings, Magnolia Social offers a delicious full meal.